“B’nai Jeshurun is a nonaffiliated Jewish synagogue community that
strives to experience God’s presence by praying, studying ,
teaching, volunteering , celebrating , and caring for each other
and our world. Our services  are joyful, musical, socially
progressive, and accessible, weaving together tradition with
We build our kehillah kedosha—sacred community—with creativity and
intention—kavannah—under the guidance of our rabbis , who reach
into the wellsprings of Jewish wisdom to present a compelling and
energizing vision. Drawing inspiration from the great teachers of our
tradition, who embodied and articulated some of Judaism’s deepest and
most cherished values, our rabbis strive to address the challenges of
our time in the search for justice , understanding, and wholeness.
We believe that God empowers each person to change his or her individual
reality—as well as the power of community to change the world. We
believe that our lives are of consequence and that what we say and do
We welcome you to study, pray, and serve with us.”
The KJ Beginners Program offers Jewish adults and families an open door to a broad range of Jewish knowledge and experiences. Special care has been taken to create an environment sensitive to the needs of those unacquainted with the “hows” and “whys” of our heritage, while providing the tools for religious and spiritual growth. We are a community and a family, and, to some extent, we’re all beginners at different stages of the same journey.
Don’t be a stranger!
Give us a call at 212-774-5678 or e-mail us at Beginners@ckj.org to set up an appointment to meet or shmooze. Information is always available on our website http://www.kjbeginners.org. All programs are free of charge, except where noted, and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
Many of our wonderful programs are featured throughout this brochure. We look forward to welcoming you to KJ.
Founded in 1917, The Jewish Center has served as one of Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institutions for nearly a century. For dignitaries, statesmen, scholars and theologians, The Jewish Center is the primary destination for anyone interested in addressing New York’s Modern Orthodox Jewish Community.
The Jewish Center is a vibrant and dynamic synagogue and social center located in the heart of Manhattan’s pulsating Upper West Side. A flagship for Modern Orthodoxy in New York City, The Jewish Center offers a full compliment of classes, lecture series, social programming for all ages and stages of life, along with a full schedule of weekly and Shabbat services. Whether you are a current member, live in the area, or are planning to visit the West Side, we invite you to explore the site and find out what we have to offer. See you in The Center!
In 1964, in the living room of an apartment in Lincoln Towers, a part-time rabbi from Yeshiva University named Steven Riskin took the budding Lincoln Square Conservative Synagogue by storm. His originality, charm and boundless energy captivated members and moved them to a more traditionally observant Judaism, in turn sparking a growing Jewish renaissance on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Before long, a new synagogue-in-theround made its debut at 200 Amsterdam Avenue, and the excitement at the renamed Lincoln Square Synagogue brought hundreds of young single professionals to the neighborhood, creating a vibrant scene for mixing and matching. Young families were also drawn to LSS, attracted by the dazzling teachings of Rabbi Riskin, assisted by Rabbi Herschel Cohen z”l and Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, and the gorgeous melodies of Cantor Sherwood Goffin. “The New Orthodox” they called it on the cover of New York Magazine. Who knew? But as members struggled to navigate between the laws of Jewish tradition and the secular values of the surrounding society, Lincoln Square Synagogue began to see its destiny.
Just down the street from the temples of high culture at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Square Synagogue quickly established itself as a temple of an innovative kind, showcasing the classical and the contemporary, history and modernity. With joy and pride, the challenges of present-day living were brought into harmony with the ancient traditions passed down through the generations. The sacred liturgical texts of tefillah were infused with a new vitality as haunting, time-honored melodies shared the stage with the music of Shlomo Carlebach and The Rabbi’s Sons. The thirst for wisdom was quenched with the scholarship of Rashi and Rambam blended with the insights of 20th-century thinkers like Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook and Rabbi Joseph Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik. Everything old was new again.
What emerged was a synagogue with its own, unique, invigorating rhythm: home to meaningful and enthusiastic worship, to be sure, but also a place to establish lifelong friendships, build businesses and organizations, find soul mates and nourish the next generation through education and religious instruction. Thousands of Jews of all ages and backgrounds had come together to create a true makom kadosh, providing support for each other in times of sorrow and sharing joy in times of simcha. LSS was now a unified community whose commitment to Judaism and love of humankind extended beyond self and family to the world at large. You could walk in off the street for the first time, as so many did, and feel you’d been here before.
As the years flew by, the stunning success of Lincoln Square Synagogue brought with it newfound responsibility: to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse membership, an ever-expanding neighborhood and a 21st-century world. New solutions for new realities were required that would acknowledge the changing landscape, while staying true to the synagogue’s core principles and personality. Recognizing the difficulties faced by those forced to care for their children and their parents at the same time, and those older members in need of help, LSS became the first local Orthodox synagogue to add a part-time social worker to its core staff, guiding those needing support and companionship through the complicated maze of social service programs.
Identifying a resurgent thirst for Torah study on an individual, one-on-one level, LSS members founded the first full-time Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist Kollel in the New York metropolitan area, offering the learned and the uninitiated new and exciting educational opportunities that reflected a love of Torah as well as eretz yisrael and am yisrael – the land and the nation of Israel.
And always mindful of the needs of the greater Jewish community, LSS members created the Lea Segre Tomchei Shabbos Fund providing free meals to those recovering from illness and childbirth or sitting shiva, as well as the Louis Lazar Benevolent Fund providing free religious articles like siddurim, mezuzot, and tefillin to those in need. All of this and weekly Bikur Cholim visits to Roosevelt Hospital every Shabbat afternoon, annual clothing drives, and a dedicated Chesed Fund that supports a variety of charitable causes in New York and across the country. As our sages teach, “olam chesed yibaneh” – acts of kindness build the world – and Lincoln Square Synagogue always does its part.
In 2013, LSS continued the next phase of its history and moved 100 yards south to 180 Amsterdam Avenue.
by Rabbi Yaakov Y. Kermaier
Fifth Avenue Synagogue is a community with a cause. What are the core values of our Modern Orthodox congregation?
First and foremost, our institution carefully guards its religious integrity. Halacha, the complex system of Jewish law and custom, is our “religious constitution”. Allegiance to halacha is the hallmark of authentic, historic Judaism and Fifth Avenue Synagogue is proudly loyal to both the letter and spirit of halacha. In all of our services, programs and social events, halachic propriety is priority number one. Our willingness to innovate within halacha’s boundaries to meet contemporary Jewry’s spiritual needs should never blur our ultimate submission to halachic standards.
Authentic prayer, we affirm, is an act of seeking closeness to G-d, and the Synagogue must be an arena conducive to this spiritual encounter. Through all of our prayer services, especially those on Shabbat and holidays, we strive to engage and inspire our worshipers.
Because facilitating religious exploration is our raison d’etre, we are a learning community. “V’talmud Torah K’neged Kulam” – “and Torah study is equal to all other commandments combined” (Talmud, Shabbat 127a) is a banner we hold high. Enhanced Jewish literacy, we believe, inevitably leads to greater Jewish commitment and to a deeper, more mature appreciation of Judaism. In the context of classes, one-on-one study, or short Divrei Torah, engaging sacred texts is not only an intellectual exercise, but, no less than prayer, a dialogue with the Divine.
Moreover, whether the topic is halacha or history, Talmud or Tanakh, contemporary issues or Hebrew language, philosophy or prayer, serious Jewish study not only fortifies individuals with knowledge, but ultimately invigorates the entire Fifth Avenue Synagogue community.
The scope of our Jewish interests, though, extends far beyond East 62nd Street. Achdut, the essential unity of the Jewish people, even as it is dispersed across the globe, is a central value of the Synagogue. A Jewish calamity or triumph in Paris, Perth or Petach Tikvah is ours to mourn or celebrate. Any Jew in need is our responsibility, and the welfare of the Jewish people as a whole is our concern.
Not surprisingly, then, Fifth Avenue Synagogue is a Zionist community. We embrace the State of Israel as the realization of many of our nation’s loftiest dreams. Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land has enabled Israel to become a guardian of the Jewish people, even today absorbing Jews in distress from near and far. Israel also shines as a beacon of Jewish learning and culture for world Jewry. We pray each Shabbat that the Jewish State, our state, will thrive and achieve peace and security. We celebrate annually her independence and the reunification of her eternal capital, the city of Jerusalem. “We have never abandoned our hope, the hope of two thousand years, to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.” (From the Israeli national anthem).
Beyond our congregational and Jewish national interests, the Synagogue advocates humanitarian involvement in the broader community. Influencing society with kindness and compassion is an essential part of the Jewish mission. It is both our privilege and sacred duty to gladden the hearts of the elderly, the mentally disabled, orphans, and anyone who needs a dose of companionship and love.
Finally, our Synagogue must inspire the children, even the youngest ones, with the above values. Religious living, respecting differences, learning Torah, Jewish unity, and love of Israel and humanity are values best communicated to our children at home and at school, but also learned and reinforced within a synagogue community. We welcome our youngest members into the synagogue and place their needs at the top of our programming agenda. We are confident that children who are enveloped by a positive, warm, and exciting Jewish community will grow up to value continued Jewish development for themselves and for their children.
Fifth Avenue Synagogue’s deepest hope is that its values find adequate expression in its programs and that the Synagogue thereby helps its members lead lives suffused with Jewish meaning.
Park East Synagogue is dedicated to providing the opportunity for spiritual growth, Jewish education and spiritual comfort for individuals, families, and our community.
Park East Synagogue is inclusive of all people seeking a meaningful Jewish life, regardless of degree of observance, knowledge of Jewish tradition, age, or affiliation.
Park East Synagogue is committed to providing inspiring Jewish and general studies education to children and to adults; its Religious School, Early Childhood, and Day School with its emphasis on cultivating a Jewish life rich in tradition and unrivalled in general studies has been, and continues to be, a source of character and vitality for its congregation.
The synagogue’s influence, strength and dynamism in the community derive from the members of our congregation. We value and honor the role our congregants fulfill in defining and shaping our future and that of the Jewish community, in New York City and beyond.
The Edmond J. Safra Synagogue
The name “Edmond J. Safra” is synonymous with philanthropy and benevolence. A Lebanese-born Jew who rose to prominence in the banking industry, Mr. Safra supported a remarkable diversity of institutions and charities during his lifetime. While his legacy of giving affected Jewish communities worldwide, his generosity may have had its greatest impact on the various Sephardic Jewish communities in the United States and abroad. An example of how Mr. Safra’s policy of supporting new Jewish institutions continues even after his untimely death can be found in the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue.
During his lifetime, Mr. Safra was often in New York City and spent many Shabbatoth in Manhattan. Noting the absence of a formal synagogue and communal center for the Sephardim of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Mr. Safra expressed a desire to build a central house of worship in the area. As was his practice, he undertook to move this idea from a vision to a reality. Through the dedication and efforts of his wife, Mrs. Lily Safra, and a team of skilled artisans, the synagogue was completed in December 2002. Dignitaries including the Chief Rabbi of Israel and Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended an official inauguration of the building. Praise for the edifice was exceeded only by praise for the man who foresaw it and his wife who completed it.
Since opening its doors in March, 2003, the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue has become the communal center that its namesake imagined it would. Under the spiritual guidance of Rabbi Elie Abadie, the synagogue offers regular religious services including daily minyanim, a bi-weekly Bet Midrash program, liturgy studies and daily tehilim readings. Moreover, the synagogue has become a prominent social, cultural and educational center having hosted conferences and lectures, parenting and cooking classes, singles’ events, children’s programs and a variety of cultural and educational events.
The Edmond J. Safra Synagogue is well-located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at 11 East 63rd Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues and regularly hosts guests from around the world. The congregation is comprised of many families from a medley of Middle Eastern backgrounds and it is prepared to welcome all those interested in worshipping with this new, vibrant Jewish community.
As Pirkei Avot teaches us, “The world stands on three things:
Torah, Avodah and G’milut Chasadim [study, worship and deeds of lovingkindness].”
So, too, the synagogue. At Temple Emanu-El, we encourage our members, young and old, to gather in an atmosphere both warm and awe-inspiring, as we share our moments of joy as well as our times of sadness, immerse ourselves in the richness and beauty of our tradition, and act upon our tradition’s values in the world around us.
If you are considering membership, then know that we welcome all who wish to participate in Jewish life: singles, couples and families in all their forms; interfaith couples; individuals with disabilities; all people regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or financial means. I hope you choose to make Temple Emanu-El your spiritual home and family and that you will feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I very much would enjoy the opportunity to meet with you personally.
If you already are part of our community, then I would enjoy getting to know you better as well, to learn from you about the passions and commitments that inspire your involvement, and to gain an understanding of how Temple Emanu-El can further engage and stimulate those interests.
So, if you are in the neighborhood, please come and visit; our Sabbath services are open to all. And, if you are able to visit us only online, then enjoy our worship through our live-streaming feed. Either way, we embrace you as part of our Emanu-El family.
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
Our Mission & History
Park Avenue Synagogue seeks to inspire, educate, and support our membership towards living passion-filled Jewish lives. Through spirited prayer, study, observance and acts of kindness we aspire to foster deep connections with each other, our Torah, our God, the people and State of Israel and our shared humanity. In practicing a Judaism filled with love, literacy, reverence, compassion, and joy, we strive to make our ancient tradition compelling and welcoming to contemporary Jewry and to serve as a light unto our fellow Jews and the nations.
The Park Avenue Synagogue – Agudat Yesharim, The Association of the Righteous – is a Conservative congregation founded in 1882. From modest and humble beginnings, it has grown into one of the major congregations in the Conservative movement.
In 1882, a group of German-speaking Jews founded a synagogue and named it Temple Gates of Hope. A church building at 115 East 86th Street was converted into a synagogue which was soon known as the Eighty-Sixth Street Temple. Some twelve years after its founding, the synagogue joined together with Congregation Agudat Yesharim, which became the Hebrew name of the merged congregation. (The name is engraved in the cornerstone of the PAS school building at the corner of Madison Avenue and 87th Street.) The sermons in the congregation were still preached in German.
Later amalgamations were to come. A nearby synagogue, the Seventy-Second Street Temple, was itself a product of the earlier merger of two congregations that had had their beginnings on the Lower East Side in the 1840’s, Beth Israel and Bikkur Cholim. After they combined, they moved uptown to Lexington Avenue and 72nd Street and in 1920 this congregation joined with the Eighty-Sixth Street Temple, Agudat Yesharim.
In 1923 the Eighty-Sixth Street Temple petitioned the State of New York to have its name changed to the Park Avenue Synagogue. Three years later a new sanctuary was constructed on 87th Street, dedicated in March of 1927. This is our present sanctuary. In 1928 the last of the mergers took place when Atereth Israel, a congregation of Alsatian Jews who worshipped in their building on East 82nd Street, added their strength to the Park Avenue Synagogue.
The congregation has met the challenges of time with constant change and growth. As the congregation grew, there were new needs, and they were met. In 1954, a new building, the Milton Steinberg House, was dedicated to the memory of the late distinguished spiritual leader, Rabbi Milton Steinberg, to serve the community and the religious school. With the passing of time, however, and the burgeoning of the Upper East Side as a major Jewish community, the facilities of the Milton Steinberg House were no longer adequate to meet the demands of the ever-growing religious school. The dream for another new building was coupled with another idea – to make this building a living memorial to the more than one million Jewish children who were slaughtered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Dedicating the new school building to the memory of the murdered children would give them a meaningful immortality. The building would serve to assure the Jewish future by providing a space for new generations of knowledgeable and proud Jews to learn about their heritage. Though they cannot bring back the million Jewish children who perished, these young Jews would still rob the Nazis of their hoped-for victory – the final solution. The traditions, the history, the insights, and the wisdom of our precious heritage will be preserved and raised to new heights by educating generations of Jewish children who will carry their faith with pride.
The dedications of the building and of the sculptures memorializing the martyred children took place on two memorable days – December 1 and December 8, 1980, the week of Hanukkah – a high point in the annals of the Congregation’s history.
During the first fifty years in the history of the present congregation, eight rabbis served as its spiritual leaders. In 1933 Rabbi Milton Steinberg and Cantor David J. Putterman came to the Park Avenue Synagogue, which now became a Conservative congregation. Rabbi Steinberg served seventeen years and Cantor Putterman forty-three years. In 1957, Rabbi Judah Nadich became the spiritual leader of the congregation. He was joined by Cantor David Lefkowitz in 1976. Rabbi David H. Lincoln, our present Rabbi Emeritus, began in 1987, and retired in the summer of 2008. Rabbi Kenneth A. Stern served our Congregation from 1996 through the end of June 2008. In July 2008 Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove began serving our Congregation as Senior Rabbi, with Rabbi Steven I. Rein becoming our Assistant Rabbi in the summer of 2009. Cantor Nancy Abramson joined our Clergy in 1997 and served the Congregation until June, 2011, when she became Director of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Cantor Azi Schwartz came to Park Avenue Synagogue in August, 2011, as Cantor and Music Director.
The synagogue building is Moorish in architecture with one of the most beautiful cast stone facades in New York. The interior of the sanctuary provides seating for 1200 during the High Holy Days. Moorish decoration is used throughout, from Arabesque dadoes to a “mugarnas” design for the octagonal domed ceiling. The sanctuary, designed by architect Walter Schneider in 1926, marks the end of a period beginning in Europe in the 1850’s when the Moorish style was often used for synagogues. For this and many other facets, the building has definite historical significance.The synagogue boasted of 240 members when it celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Today, after celebrating our 125th anniversary, Park Avenue Synagogue has approximately 1,500 families and is considered one of the leading Conservative congregations in the country.
The Shuva Israel Community is a global organization with synagogues, learning institutions and social service outreach to the needy in the U.S. and throughout the world. There are currently Shuva Israel Community establishments located in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens), Miami, Los Angeles, Israel and Argentina.
The Shuva Israel Community was founded in 1997 by Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto when he was in his early 20s; the first establishment, called Pinot, was in Ashdod, Israel, and established a tradition of taking no financial aid from the state so as not to create resentment among taxpayers that might distance them from Judaism.
All Shuva Israel establishments focus strongly on community service or “Chessed” programs, that include soup kitchens and other charitable and philanthropic acts. More than 3,000 daily hot meals are delivered discretely to the homes of needy people in Israel, and the U.S. During the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashana and Pessah, more than 12,000 packages filled with meat, wine and other staples are distributed.
Each Friday, Kosher food, candles, wine and bread are given to those who are hospitalized. Financial assistance, especially to widows and orphans, is also provided to hundreds of people in the Shuva Israel communities and Torah scholarships are provided to hundreds of young scholars around the world.
There is no mystery about our philosophy: Love every Jew; educate every Jew; reach out to help every Jew. We open our arms and hearts to all, regardless of education or affiliation. That is a commintment that we have honored on the Upper East Side since 1993.
About Manhattan Sephardic Congregation
Originating in 1990 as a dwelling for a few wandering and devout-seeking congregants, MSC has grown to become a full-service venue for Sephardic worship and learning. With an array of adult education classes, daily services (morning and evening), as well as Shabbat and Holidays, visiting lectures, singles events, children’s programs and other exciting activities, MSC offers a warm, inviting, spirited communal outlet for all Jewish people.
MSC has hosted prominent dignitaries and personalities as well as world renown rabbis: Among them, Chief Sephardic Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Rabbi Bakshi Doron, Chief Rabbi of France, Rabbi Yosef Sitruk, famed Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, Rabbi Shalom Messas, ZT”L, Former Foreign Minister of Israel, Mr. David Levy and many other MKs and dignitaries from Israel, Morocco, France and the United States.
Throughout the millennia, our Jewish brethren have made great contributions and sacrifices for the preservation of our rich heritage so that their children and future generations would embrace and safeguard our precious history, practices and unique role in this world. We invite members and non-members alike to perform what is perhaps one of the most significant Mitzvot of all, to be founders and partners in this entity that is dedicated to the perpetuation of sephardic Jewish ideals, legacies that have withstood the test of time. We invite you to take full advantage of this joyful and exciting opportunity, to invest in our proud tradition.